WHO SHOULD GET THE CREDIT? 30/05/2010

Now that the exam results are out there is excitement in the air. Parents talk nothing else excepting about the brilliance of their children which is gauged according to their scores/credits in different subjects. What’s more, they attribute the high score obtained in the subject not so much to their children’s performance in the exam but to their genes.

I am sure my  daughter will  score a centum in maths, said one father with an air of pride. She has taken after me. I was very strong in maths myself.

Come on, don’t think you can take the credit. If at all someone deserves the credit, it is her maths teacher in school combined with my giving her tuition, interjected his wife leaving the man embarrassed.

There was another parent who boasted about his son. You know, my son has been scoring  high marks  in chemistry. I am advising him to major in the subject at his degree level  just like I did. Chemistry happened to be my favourite subject in my degree and PG. In fact I got  a Gold medal in my P.G.  in the seventies.

Don’t you think you can attribute certain things to genes? he asked (probably he wanted to prefix the word father to genes).

I don’t remember your ever saying you had obtained a GOLD MEDAL  in THE UNIVERSITY, it’s news to me, said his wife, who had just entered the room with a tray containing refreshments.

You can well imagine the reaction of the man.

In another incident, the father said excitedly, you know, my daughter always secured highest marks  in English in her class. I feel she has inherited her command of the language from me, you see.

I didn’t want to tell him that between him and his wife, she had better command of the language and expression.

Slightly different  was a mother’s claim about her daughter,  you know my daughter is very brilliant .”I am sure she will get a State rank “was her refrain.

I scanned through the papers once the results were out .All the State ranks were mostly bagged by students from non METRO areas to the surprise of their parents and disappointment of the ones who boasted about their offsprings’ brilliance!

N.MEERA RAGHAVENDRA RAO

2 thoughts on “WHO SHOULD GET THE CREDIT? 30/05/2010

  1. Genes or no genes, the education system here and the hype surrounding it all beats me, Meera. So many boards, so many different systems and exam patterns… and to think that there are millions of children who have no acess to education. What a pity indeed! After more than 60 years of Independence, this is the sorry state of affairs. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that our politicians and bureaucrats have ruined our country.

  2. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    This is the etermal debate of Nature versus nurture. Genes do influence our personalities to some extent, but to what extent ? 50%, 40%, 30% ? The genetic experts say it is more like 30%. If a person has inherited some dominant gene, then irrespective of whether it is nurtured or not ( exposure or no exposure to favourable forces like training, discipline or encouragement from parents or teachers), children will do well but if the child has inherited a latent gene, then nurturing becomes more important. If you give all the facilities to a child who has a latent gene then it will be fruitful, but if the child has no latent or recessive gene potential in that area, the child will not achieve anything despite all the facilitating acrobatics of the parents. So genes are important for quite a few people.

    Parents normally force their children to take up studies & excel in domains ( for which their children do not have either dominant or recessive genes) where they themselves failed to achieve, so that they themselves can have vicarious satisfaction. But we as parents tend to forget that it is better for the child to be a first rate scientist or accountant or lawyer or even carpenter or electrician or plumber or lab technician or musician or painter in the business than to be a third rate engineer or doctor, since the former can have a more meaningful life than the latter ! Pathetic, isn’t it ?

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